Back Back

DMEXCO Digital Spring Summit: The Future of Marketing is “Onchain” Not “Online”

Successful premiere: For the first time in its history, DMEXCO — Europe's leading digital marketing & tech event — kicked off the marketing year with a “Digital Spring Summit”. Featuring more than 80 speakers on four parallel channels, the warmup to DMEXCO 2022 presented more than 25 hours of programming. Over 6,000 members of the digital marketing community participated in the event. The key topics of the DMEXCO Digital Spring Summit were the developments in Web3 and their impact on marketing and society.
May 5, 2022

The future is “onchain” instead of online. Digital goods massively increase in value when they are linked to unique non-fungible tokens (NFTs). Intermediaries and brokers lose their influence in the blockchain era. Digital wallets will be a new form of identification and login. And crypto firms will rise to the ranks of the top 10 companies over the next ten years. These were five key takeaways of the first DMEXCO Digital Spring Summit. The digital warmup for DMEXCO 2022 focused on the future trend of Web3 and was held on the digital platform ( The summit dedicated to crypto, blockchain, NFTs, and other hot topics brought together more than 80 top speakers and over 6,000 participants.

Society, business, the economy, and marketing are in a state of disruption. According to Isabell Welpe, professor at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and co-founder of the TUM Blockchain Center, “Web3 heralds the next phase of the Internet and a new era of decentralization. Valuable assets can be acquired onchain via decentralized servers, without intermediaries and brokers.” Welpe adds that Web3 is currently at the same stage of development as the “old Internet at the end of the last millennium”. The dynamics arising from the tokenization of the economy could play out in the coming years in a way similar to the triumphant advance of the platform economy in recent years.

Crypto and NFT expert Christopher Obereder predicted that several crypto firms will be included in the ranks of the global top 10 companies in ten years. And not only cryptocurrencies, but also non-fungible tokens (NFTs) will play a distinctive role. Their potential can already be seen in the art scene today. As Obereder says, “NFTs have changed the world for many artists. The same creator who previously sold a painting for a few thousand dollars can now get several million for the digital version. And the best part is that they personally benefit from the rise in value.” Henrik Bredenbals from was likewise of the opinion: “The concept of consumption is increasingly shifting into the digital world. NFTs as digital collectibles are the way to go in the current early phase.”

This forecast was also affirmed by Timm Jäger, CEO of Eintracht Frankfurt Tech. For example, the first virtual Eintracht team jersey sold out immediately. The German soccer league club also offers its fans other digital fan merchandise in the form of NFTs.

Dr. Giovanna Graziosi Casimiro organized a fashion week for Decentraland, a large browser-based 3D virtual world. “The idea essentially came from the community. Only then did we approach brands and partners.” The virtual fashion world featured runway shows, popup shops from well-known brands offering both digital and physical products, as well as panel talks and satellite events. Graziosi Casimiro: “For brands, this was a great opportunity to try out how it feels to operate in a virtual world. There is already major and strong potential today for brands in 3D environments.”

Nino Bergfeld from Salesforce analyzed that a total of 300 million daily active users are already roaming around in virtual worlds: “Sooner or later, marketing will have to face this changed reality. Whether it concerns new types of experiences, payment systems, or loyalty programs — interesting and exciting times are coming. Soon we will have to address and engage with customers in virtual worlds, DAOs (decentralized autonomous organizations), or by using airdrops.” In the future, for example, brands could also use tokens as a way to win over and retain customers.

Complex technical innovations such as NFTs, cryptocurrencies, and the metaverse are undoubtedly affecting people’s lives more and more on a lasting basis. “Real life can increasingly be represented in parallel digital worlds, with many advantages. We have to make sure not to lose sight of who ultimately makes or breaks success: people. That is why the entire digital industry has a responsibility to promote and ensure more trust in digital innovations,” says Dirk Freytag, President of the German Association for the Digital Economy (BVDW), who discussed the topic of digital responsibility along with other subjects.

“The Digital Spring Summit was a successful launch and at the same time was the first milestone in the leadup to DMEXCO in Cologne. By focusing on Web3, we chose an absolute on-trend topic and presented top content — and that was a hit. But of course, we are already looking forward to the in-person reunion with our community and to the entire spectrum of digital marketing”, said Professor Dominik Matyka, Chief Advisor of DMEXCO.

All participants who attended the DMEXCO Digital Spring Summit also get access to the keynotes, panels, masterclasses, and partner content from DMEXCO @home 2021.

DMEXCO 2022 will take place on September 21 and 22, 2022, both on-site in Cologne and online.

Image material for DMEXCO is available online at